since 1965  (really?)

The Art, Music, and Lyrics of Radiohead

This course listing applies to a Spring 2016 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2016
Music 98/198
2 Unit(s)



About the Course:


In 1993, Michael Stipe of R.E.M. said, "Radiohead are so good they scare me." Ten years later, Radiohead have indeed become one of the most influential and universally respected bands of our generation. They are one of very few bands that successfully combine musical creativity and technical genius with genuine emotion and honesty. Their lyrics reflect the band's keen awareness of the human psychology, world politics, and the literary tradition of the past and present. We will look closely at the connections between Radiohead's lyrics, music, video, and artwork, in hopes of gaining a deeper appreciation for Radiohead and popular music as a legitimate art form.


Goal of the course

Students will learn to listen to popular music not just for a beat and catchy melody, but to appreciate how the music, lyrics, and the structure of an album reinforce each other. They will learn to approach these aspects of the band with a critical ear and document their observations and analyses in weekly assignments, as if they were writing for a music journal. Students will also analyze album art, and think of the albums as parts of larger political and social contexts. The skills learned in this course may be used to analyze other pop artists of the past, present and future.




Students will write a minimum 1-page paper in the form of a critical article for each album we discuss. This may include critiques, opinions, and observations formed by an individual song or the album as a whole. The facilitators will occasionally assign, on weeks with no assignments, short-hand writing assignments in response to live performances of songs or b-sides not discussed during class. This will give replicate a music critic’s job of listening to something new and discussing it in a coherent, thought-provoking manner. Throughout the course, students will be working on a semester-long assignment: creating something, either written or visual, to be included in a class music journal. This will be the final assignment.

How to Enroll:


CCNs will be given out on a first come, first served basis on the first day of class!

Course Contact: taylor.ferguson22 AT

Faculty Sponsor: Nicolas Mathew

Time & Location:

Section 1Taylor Ferguson
45128 MorrisonW 7p-9p1/27started

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: Spring 2016 Radiohead Syllabus .docxJan 2130kbUnknownView Download

Course info last modified January 21, 2016. This page has been viewed 1278 times.

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